2018 Gusto Bianco
2018 Gusto Bianco
Vineyards: Viognier: The tiny gem of Salomon Vineyard in Sonoma Valley north of Kenwood is entirely dry-farmed and has more pebbles mixed into the predominant Huichica loam than the surrounding area. The southeast exposure at an elevation of 450 feet and cool air rolling off the mountains to the west create just the right conditions for gentle ripening and retention of acidity. Grenache Blanc: The confluence of three overlapping AVAs at Ceja Farms – Sonoma Coast, Carneros and Sonoma Valley – produces a unique growing environment. The ocean breezes through the Petaluma Gap combine with the fog rolling off the northern reaches of the bay to provide a consistently cool climate and long hang time. Unusual for the region, the soil in this block is deep, dark and rich, with volcanic material combining with clay to produce vibrant, expressive flavors. Fiano: Scribner's Bend Vineyard is situated ideally on the inside of a 90-degree turn in the Sacramento river, fostering constant airflow of ocean breezes that slows ripening on the low-yielding Fiano vines. The low-draining Sycamore soil - a fine, silty clay loam - keeps the perfect harmony between vine health and stress in this dry region, and ultimately produces a complex and balanced wine.
Vintage: On the heels of a stressful 2017, growers and winemakers were thankful for a return to an uneventful but fruitful vintage in 2018. A cool spring started off the ideal growing season with a near-perfect fruit set in the spring, and summer temperatures were moderate with fewer heat spikes than the previous years. As a result, harvest started two to three weeks later than during the recent extended drought, but along a more historically typical timeline. The long hang times and even ripening yielded wines that show concentrated flavor and structure without being over-ripe.
Winemaking: Each of the three grapes in this blend was vinified separately using native yeast and spontaneous fermentation - the Viognier in a mix of neutral French oak and stainless steel, the Grenache Blanc in concrete egg, and the Fiano in clay amphorae. After six months we compiled the blend and racked the Gusto Bianco into used French oak barrels for an additional six months of aging. The wine went through a full malolactic fermentation and was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Tasting Notes: An intensely floral, bracingly mineral, and richly textured white blend, it opens with a jasmine-tinged floral earthy nose, before fleshy aspects of nectarine, pear and citrus zest figure onto the palate, boosted by uplifted acidity.